Friends of the Neutral Zone
"Friends of the Neutral Zone" - FONZ - aims to work with The Neutral Zone by providing fundraising and volunteer assistance. On any given day, there are 20,000 to 32,000 youth on the streets of New York City; 40% of whom are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Based on these statistics, there are an estimated 8000 homeless LGBTQ youth, fighting to survive, every day in New York City. Many of these young people were abused at home, and then were kicked out or run away. They are at a higher risk than straight youth of HIV infection, drug addiction, and sexual exploitation, and often become enmeshed in dangerous cycles of isolation, hopelessness, depression, and risk-taking. Yet there are few places for them to turn. The Neutral Zone welcomes LBGTQ youth four nights a week to take haven in a safe, supervised, drug-free space. In the last three months alone, The Neutral Zone had 1247 drop-in visits and served almost 600 free meals.